Leather Vs Synthetic – Which is the Best Material for Comfortable Work Shoes

- Jun 13, 2018 -

No matter what industry your profession is based, there are quite a number of jobs that require a huge amount of standing. From nurses, bank clerks, ushers, tour guides, restaurant workers and about a million other occupations, it’s almost impossible to catch a break and take a load off. If you work in such an environment, you undoubtedly know the pain and agony your feet are subjected to on a daily basis. And before they even get enough time to heal and recuperate, there you go again standing for over 10 hours. Abusing your legs and feet regularly only exposes you to the risk of more foot pain, fatigue or worse; chronic conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

Synthetic Vs Leather Shoes for StandingHowever, there is one secret that most people don’t know. It’s not the standing that causes foot pain and chronic issues! More often than not, it’s actually what you have on your feet that affects your performance. We’ve been through all the features that make up the best shoes for work, but how exactly does your choice of material affect you on the job? Here’s how to choose the best footwear construction materials that will complement hours of relentless standing at work.

Is the Type of Material Used in your Standing Shoes Important?

When selecting the shoes, you’re going to spend all day every day standing in; it’s very important to take your time. Essentially, standing shoes are an investment in your comfort, style and most importantly, your overall health.

One of the most overlooked yet incredibly crucial elements of standing shoes has to be the materials used. You will find that matching the correct materials and construction of your individual; personal needs will make being on your feet all day long much easier and bearable. One of the biggest mistakes most workers make is to look at the uppers and judge them according to style and fashion instead of looking at what the material properties are. Keeping in mind the strengths and weaknesses of the materials used will help you make a well-informed decision that you and your feet can be proud of. The main types of materials used are leather and synthetic materials. We compare and contrast these two to find the best one.

Leather Vs. Synthetic Uppers for Standing All Day at Work


Used for a variety of goods such as shoes, belts, jackets and others, Leather can be defined as a highly durable and flexible material created by tanning of animal skin and rawhide; often cattle. For footwear, leather is used in a wide range of types and sizes and decorated with an even more extensive array of techniques. From heavy duty safety work boots to casual, designer shoes, leather has seen and done it all. Leather is always an excellent choice for working both outdoors and indoors, and in many cases, it offers the highest levels of comfort. It’s also super easy to clean and offers workers great waterproof features. But shoes made of leather tend to be heavier than synthetic materials.

Synthetic Materials

Synthetic materials and fabrics are textiles constructed from manmade materials as opposed to natural fibers. Some synthetic materials include nylon, polyester, acetate, acrylic, spandex, orlon, lastex and Kevlar. Synthetic fabrics have numerous different qualities when compared to leather; including some not achievable with natural fibers. When it comes to footwear, synthetic materials offer a more lightweight feel and offer higher levels of breathability. Now, most people usually ask if synthetic materials for shoes can be waterproof. By adding various chemicals to fabric, synthetic material for your shoes can be made water resistant, softer, wrinkle free, strain resistant among others.


So, when it comes to standing all day, what material do you actually want on your feet? Sure, leather can be very durable and super easy to clean, but standing all day doesn’t get as dirty as being all over the place. On the other hand, synthetic materials and other fabric blends are much lighter than leather, making them a great option for standing all day. They also offer more breathability and freer air circulation which is great for sweaty feet. All these factors are great, but in the end, your choice will be determined by your job.

Think about your occupation; are you often exposed to hazardous conditions and harmful chemicals that could tear, rip and seep in your shoes? If so, you will be better suited by durable leather uppers. However, if you want something lightweight that won’t weigh you down and will let your feet breathe easy, synthetic uppers are definitely the way to go. Not only does getting the right materials for your shoes increase their lifespan, but they also allow you to be more comfortable while standing all day on the job.

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